Bulletin Staff Report

With summer just around the corner, many families will be looking to escape the heat by enjoying an afternoon at one of the area’s many pools. The Amercian Red Cross-Pecan Valley Chapter is currently registering students for its Learn to Swim summer program. The classes are designed for different skill levels, from beginner to advanced, and instruction will be centered on teaching the skills to move swimmers to the next stage.

The program, which is held at the Camp Bowie Pool, features a variety of classes and times to meet the needs of busy families. Classes begin on June 10, with sessions also beginning on June 24, July 8 and July 22.

The June 24 session will feature an evening class for infants and a parent. The July 8 session will have an evening swim class for adults. Advanced lessons will be offered during the July 22 session.

Most classes are scheduled during the morning, beginning at 9:45, 10:30 or 11:15 a.m. The cost for the program is $45 per swimmer for eight, 40-minute lessons. Scholarships are available to students who qualify.

Class size is limited to eight students and scheduling is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Level One swimmers are those who have little or no comfort level being in water, enter water with hesitation, cannot blow bubbles and cannot float independently. Level Six, or advanced, swimmers are able to swim in deep water, shallow dive, swim front and back crawl 50 yards, swim elementary backstroke and breaststroke 25 yards and tread water for at least two minutes.

One of the benefits of knowing how to swim is that swimming offers an excellent exercise option. Water exercises have minimal impact on bones and joints, offer gentle yet steady resistance and the water helps maintain a safe body temperature.

Leisurely swimming burns about 490 per hour, and moderately vigorous lap swimming can burn 572 calories per hour for someone weighing 180 pounds.

Knowing how to swim opens the door to these exercises and a great many other benefits.

The local chapter is also seeking swim aides to help with the classes. This is an ideal program for teens who love to swim and want to help share their knowledge with others.

Registration for the swim program is underway at the Red Cross office, located at 600 E. Adams. More information is also available by calling the office at 646-0196. Office hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.